Topic #17 How are we supposed to think positively with all the negative news headlines?
From mudslides to house fires – suspected airplane crashes to apparent suicides – we are bombarded with all the scary, negative realities of life. Now days more than ever, with instant social media outlets, we know about everything the moment it happens. The news tends to sensationalize and capitalize on human emotion. It drives ratings, and thus drives revenue. Human beings are fascinated by, and scared of, all things out of our control. We can’t not watch the t.v. or read the latest updates online in the hopes to find answers. These answers may just give us that sense of control we are looking for so that we can do everything in our power to avoid that horrible reality in our own lives.
So now that you are completely depressed, here is the upside. First, know that most of what we see on television is meant to capture your deepest emotional responses; and it will most likely be a negative response. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. When you feel that emotional pull to watch, realize that this is exactly what they [t.v. producers] want. Second, realize that there are many many many many more positive events that occur every moment of every day around the world, but we don’t get to see most of these events plastered all over the t.v., It’s not something the networks typically spend hours talking about. Sure, we may see a cute YouTube video that provides us with a good laugh or a highlight of a good deed by someone in your community, but the positives are not dominant and therefore it’s easy for us to think there is so much negativity in the world. Third, stop watching the news and go out and live your life. Go back to basics…the good old days before twitter, Facebook and smart phones. Maybe it’s time to turn off your phone for an hour or, wait for it, a day (I know.. daunting idea!) and pick up a good book or better yet, write something positive! Instead of waiting for the next negative event to occur, go out and make positive experiences happen in your own life: volunteer, be creative, give back, or teach. Realize the good in people and the beauty in life. Yes, there is always negative… how else would we truly know what beauty is without it? Just remember, what we see on t.v. is not always the whole truth.
What do you think? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on the topic.